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Leander ISD partners with substitute staffing company to help fill empty positions

LISD has struggled to hire substitute teachers during the pandemic, like many Central Texas school districts. The staffing company 'ESS' plans to help the district.

LEANDER, Texas — Many Central Texas school districts are struggling to find substitute teachers, like Leander ISD

Leander ISD decided to get some extra help from a staffing company called ESS. ESS will focus on substitute teacher recruitment, training and hires.

"Substitute teachers are a vital part of the educational process. We have folks that are in and out of classrooms for various reasons, whether that be training or education advancement for those teachers. So, when that happens, the student achievement does not stop," said Jenna Cruz, the ESS vice president of operations. "Having that quality substitute teacher in the classroom is very vital. So for us, we focus on making sure that education does not stop learning when that teacher of record steps out of the classroom."

Normally, LISD has a pool of 700 to 800 substitutes, but only 400 are active. ESS hopes to make the LISD program stronger by offering comparable pay, insurance and benefits, resources and training programs and incentives.

"Those substitutes are able to work as much or as little as they would like. And then I think with the challenges that have been presented this year with COVID, it limited their ability to fulfill additional assignments and it certainly limited the ability for us to recruit in such uncertain times," said John West, the LISD senior director of support services and human resources. "We saw less applicants coming in. We saw a reduction of total workforce, and then we certainly had a large population of our active substitute pool that just decided they're going to sit this one out until they felt a little safer. And so, you combine all those and it was really simply something that was very difficult to recover from."

According to LISD's website, ESS will provide an online substitute management program that allows full-time teachers and staff to log their absences electronically. Those absences are then immediately visible to the substitutes interested in accepting the vacant positions.  

Click here for more information about qualification requirements. Interested applicants can apply here. For more information about ESS, please visit ESS.com.

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